Euro 2016 – match previews

Our experts have given us their best bets for the opening weekend of Euro 2016.

France v Romania 

It might be wise to tread carefully in France’s Euro 2016 curtain-raiser against Romania. The tournament hosts haven’t been subjected to the rigours of a qualifying campaign and may feel the pressure slightly in the opener against defensively sound opponents who can hold out until at least half time.

Recommended Bet: Draw/France double result @ 3/1

Albania v Switzerland

Tournament debutants Albania have failed to win in six clashes with Switzerland and only so much can be read into wins over Qatar and Luxembourg. The Swiss have qualified for three of the last four Euros and should make a winning start against opponents powder-puff in the final third. Switzerland kept clean sheets in five of their seven qualifying wins.

Recommended Bet: Switzerland to win to nil @ 6/4

Wales v Slovakia

Avoiding defeat looks crucial if Wales are to progress from Group B and they face a tricky test against a Slovakia side buoyed by their recent 3-1 friendly victory away to Germany. The Slovaks were 2-0 winners at home to Spain early on in qualifying and finished three points ahead of Ukraine so they could contain Gareth Bale and co.

Recommended Bet: Draw @ 9/4

England v Russia 

Russia are expected to pose the biggest challenge to England in Group B but they may struggle to stop the Three Lions from making a winning start. Defensively they are far more experienced than England, although a lack of pace is a concern and it may cost them against Roy Hodgson’s attack-minded side.

Recommended Bet: England to win @ 10/11

Turkey v Croatia

Croatia have lost only once in their previous 12 games and in Luka Modric and Ivan Rakatic have star players in the midfield. Turkey, who failed to make the last World Cup and only just managed to scrap through qualifying at Holland’s expense, have been handed a tough opener against quality opponents.

Recommended Bet: Croatia to win @ 23/20

Poland v Northern Ireland

Poland are superior to Northern Ireland and should win but backing both teams to score looks the best bet. Robert Lewandowski, who spearheads a lively and varied Poland attack, was the top scorer in qualifying with 13 goals but Northern Ireland can take advantage of their shaky rearguard.

Recommended Bet: Both Teams to Score @ 13/10

Best Acca Bet: England, Croatia & Poland all to win @ 6/1 (general)

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